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A Peek at Moodle 2.0 - Part 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

 

Moodle 2.0In this article I will look at the new ways in which Moodle 2.0 handles files and resources.

 

Moodle Resources

In Moodle "Resources" are the documents and files we use to present information, or content for our Courses. They may be text, graphics, or multi-media.


When selecting a resource in Moodle 1.*
we had the following options

In Moodle 2.0 this is now updated to:

 

 

So File now refers to Link to a file ( including upload a file ), URL refers to linking to a webpage, Folder refers to link to a directory, and Page refers to compose a web or text page.

Now let's take a look at some of these:

Loading Files

When selecting files. Moodle 2.0 now uses a new dialog called the File Picker. Here's how it looks like. Note the option to view files as Icons or file names.

File Picker

The options are:

Server Files: This allows you to navigate to any file area that is allowed by your system permissions. ie Courses you are responsible for, or if you are the Administrator, anything!

Recent Files: Files you have recently accessed or uploaded.

Upload a File: This allows you to select a local file and upload it. There is also the opportunity to relate a document licence.

Filepicker - Upload file

 

Private Files: These are files available only to the current user.

 

What's changed behind the Scene

Well quite a lot actually.

In Moodle 1.* Course Files were lumped together. In Moodle 2.0 Course Files are individually related to their context. Each activity and each text has its own file area, and files are associated directly with the place it is used. For example, a file attached to a forum post is stored "with" the forum post, and becomes subject to exactly the same access restrictions.

The Files system is intimately connected with the Repository system, and a file picker which makes it easy to browse external and internal repositories for files, and then copy them into Moodle.

Why the change?

Repositories in general are the way of the future for content - most Web 2.0 systems are really repositories of data with various management interfaces.  It is now possible to link Moodle to a dedicated Repository such as Alfresco.

Better Integrity of files attached to activities. If activities are moved the files move with it. Or if a file is used in two places and one is deleted, the other is not affected.

Better Security because the files have the same security access as the item they are attached to.

Better Re-usability.

Better Internationalization. Filenames may now use alternative chanracter sets, like Chinese or Japanese.

Smaller Backups.

How are files now stored?

Internally, files are stored in a "file pool" of blobs on disk with numbers for names. All the actual names and metadata are stored in a database.

The course files area in Moodle 2.0 is deprecated and is not available by default. When a site is upgraded from 1.9, all course files are migrated into new file areas and the old course files area is hidden from view.

So when you move your site to Moodle v2.0, you may need to be aware that when uploading larger files using FTP or SCP, you will be using the old deprecated mechanism of storing and accessing files.